PLANT BODY BEING: An eco-somatic improvisational dance workshop

16.7 - 19.7 2019


eco-somatic improvisation dance workshop


This workshop, facilitated by Senior New Zealand Dance Artist and educator Ali East, will consist of series of playful studio and outdoors encounters that interweave ideas of deep ecology, plant physiology and somatics.

The first evening will be a chance to meet, share movement philosophies and discuss the underpinning ideas for the workshop. Each day will begin with a warmup that will include a variety of somatic practices and a creative exploration of plant-based imagery and may progress to performed responses in various locations around the farm.

Throughout the 3 Days there will also be time for discussion, food sharing and informal performances. This will be a chance to broaden and deepen ones concepts of the dance as a lens through which to understand self and world. .

Workshop will be held in ENGLISH

The workshop is open to dance professionals, performers, musicians and somatic movers. Practitioners, educators and arts philosophers will find something relevant to their interests.


Ali East (M.Phed Otago)

PRICE:     180 EUR /4500 CZK  (the price includes acommodation in rooms for 2 and 4, diets, fee for the teacher)
deposit – as a confirmation of the participation:

The maximum capacity of this workshopnis 10 people, so we kindly ask you to send us a prepayment of 40EUR /1000 CZK as a confirmation of your participation

Account nb: 191302051 / 0300.


Markéta Málková,00420 733 722 130,

FB událost >>


Title: Plant Body Being: Performing Ecography as “alive and quivering” Stillness
By aligning with ‘plant-body-being’ as dance artists we acknowledge the
minimal, the subtle yet alive and vibrating stillness as well as the explosive, grasping, supporting
and entwining akin to that of our plant relations. As Timothy Morton (2017) suggests, art can
allow stillness yet cause vibration. In seeking to express their ‘plant-ness’ performance artists
come to understand an ecological identity that is non-gendered, culturally non-specific,
accessible, self-determining, ultimately communicative and democratic.

I refer to this work as ecography – which brings together an understanding of the biological
sciences including ecology, environmental science, botany, perception psychology, cognitive
science and anatomy through danced metaphor, re-interpretation and somato-sensory
response. The resulting performances may take a variety of forms and happen in a range of
formal and informal venues. However, they will most commonly exist as site-specific somatic

I interpret the term ‘Performing Ecologies’ as including the spectrum of ‘appearing’, ‘being’
and engaging – where both the viewer and performer become engaged empathic co-
participants, fully conscious of their own and others’ somatic existence and presence – in both
stillness and action.


Ali East (MPHED) is a New Zealand dance artist and educator recently retired from The University of
Otago, New Zealand. In 1980, along with poet and musician Dr Denys Trussell, she founded Origins
Dance Theatre and has made more than 25 eco-political mixed media dance works. Ali is the co-
ordinator of Dancespeak Dunedin Performance Collective and co-ordinates the annual Shared Agendas
Improvised Performance Events at the University of Otago. From 1989-1996 she founded and directed

New Zealand’s first choreographic training programme, now Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts,
(Unitec, Auckland). She is a regular presenter at international conferences and has published a number
of journal articles and book chapters. Her book ‘Teaching Dance as if the World Matters: Eco-
choreography – A Design for teaching Dance-making in the 21 st Century’ was published in 2011.More
recently her research interests have investigated: Intuitive sensory somatic dance processes and
teaching approaches.
Recent Relevant Publications include:
East, A. (2013) Sensuous interfaces – Dancing Anima in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Journal of Dance and
Somatic Practices. Intellect Press, GB. Volume 5, Number 1, 2013: pp.57-71.
East A. (2014) Dancing Aotearoa: Connections with Land, Identity and Ecology. In DRA Dance Research
Aotearoa Journal. UV of Waikato, NZ. Volume 2, No. 1. :101-124.
East, A. (2015) Performing Body as Nature. In Moving Consciously: Somatic Transformations in Dance,
Yoga and Touch. Sondra Fraleigh (Editor). University of Illinois Press Ill. 164-179.
East, A. (2016) Rehearsing Democracy, Enhancing Community through the Interdisciplinary Performance
Improvisation ‘Shared Agendas’. Dance Research Aotearoa, UV of Waikato. Vol 4, No 1. (pp.171-187).
East, A. (2018) Home Imagined: Uncovering a Sensuous history of People and Place through Eco-somatic
Improvisation. Choreographic Practices Journal. Vol 9, No1 Intellect press, GB. pp. 149-172.
East A. (2019) Somatic Sensing and Creaturely Knowing in the University Improvisation Class. In The
Oxford Handbook of Improvisation in Dance. Vida L. Midgelow, (editor) Oxford University Press.
East, A. (2019) Plant Body Being: Performing Ecography as ‘Alive and Shimmering’ Stillness. Chapter in
Sandra Reeve (Ed) Body and Awareness. Triarchy Press,Devon,UK. (In Press).

Scroll to Top